American Skin was first published in the United Kingdom to resounding acclaim after the author used his last seventy-five dollars to make an unsolicited submission to the publisher of the Scottish beats, whose work he admired. It is a timeless story about a young man's coming-of-age as well as a stunning portrait of the class and racial tensions that pervade our society. Alex Verdi is on the lam, fleeing from the police who have arrested his parents on drug charges and want him for questioning. Traveling to Chicago, he joins a multiracial group of anti-Nazi skinheads and embarks on an odyssey that takes him from the city's embattled streets to an Army boot camp to Northwestern's plush campus, and finally lands him amid the horrors of maximum-security prison. In this intense and gripping debut, Don De Grazia confirms his stature as a young writer of uncommon seriousness and consummate artistry.
Don De Grazia, a former factory worker, bouncer and soldier, is a professor of Creative Writing at Columbia College in Chicago and the editor of F Literary Magazine, a journal devoted to new fiction. He lives in Chicago, Illinois.
Hubert Selby Jr. author of Last Exit to Brooklyn It's a terrific book and De Grazia is a wonderful writer....Beautifully narrated....perfectly balanced.
Carolyn Chute author of The Beans of Egypt, Maine It is the American story American literature is not complete without. In fact, without Alex Verdi's story, American literature is a lie.
Jim Carroll author of The Basketball Diaries This book deals with a particularly American subject in a manner that has not been done before. The writing is fast, tough and beautiful.
Laurence O'Toole London Independent ("Independent Choice" top recommendation) At first sight De Grazia's novel seems inspired by gang movies like The Wild One to Rumblefish. Thoughts of Huckleberry Finn soon arise; also, far deeper links to the epics of Homer.
Maggie Estep author of Soft Maniacs Don De Grazia writes like a lyrical bulldozer, relentless and gorgeous at once.
Andrew Vachss author of Choice of Evil A powerful debut....Get your bets down now.